125.0040/93: Telegram

The Minister in Portugal (Fish) to the Secretary of State

776. Department’s telegram 881, December 24, 7 p.m.10 It will be possible to accommodate in or near Lisbon our official personnel and that of certain other American Republics should they be sent here pending final arrangements for exchange. Accommodations naturally will not be de luxe in all cases but they will be adequate and every effort will be made to allocate them suitably.

Although I know the Portuguese Government has already been approached in this particular by the Governments of Italy, Hungary and Rumania I do not know what decision has been reached by the Foreign Office.

It will not be feasible for unofficial nationals not included in the arrangements for exchange to remain in Portugal indefinitely. Since our entry into the war the Portuguese Government has refused transit visas to all Americans unless they have definite booking for departure to the United States. In view of the limited capacity of the Clippers, the present irregularities of their schedule and the absence of any other means of transportation non-officials will not receive transit visas unless the Department establishes Clipper priority for them individually. Portugal appears determined to prevent an accumulation of refugees here such as existed in late 1940.

  1. Not printed.